It seems to be a basic human desire to have an impact on the world. Just Google “quote make a difference” and browse some of the results. If you are like me, you will be inspired to read quotes from Emerson, Ghandi, Robert Kennedy, Thoreau, and a host of others.
Even Steve Jobs of Apple Computer said “we’re here to make a dent in the universe.”
I know that making a difference in people’s lives was the primary motivation behind why I became a coach. Professional Life Coaching is a relatively new people-helping profession, starting in the mid-1990’s. The International Coach Federation, of which I am a member, was started in 1995.
I see a lot of great coaching making a huge difference, one life at a time. And I see a lot of misunderstanding about what coaching is and is not. I’d like to help coaching grow in the world, because I’ve seen the difference it can make in my life and in the lives of my clients.
Here’s another great example of making an impact in the world.
Did you know the music of Johann Sebastian Bach is having a tremendous impact in Japan, 250 years after the composer died? As a matter of fact, in one of the most secular nations in the world, Bach’s music is a key part in bringing people to Christ. Now, that’s an IMPACT.
The story of HOW it’s making an impact is fascinating, but I’ll let you research that if you’re interested – here and here are good places to start. What I find even more fascinating is the WHY behind this story.
It starts with the fact that, at the end of every one of his works, Bach inscribed the initials “SDG”. Really? Why SDG?
To answer that, I first have to take you back to Martin Luther who started the Protestant Reformation in 1517. The Reformation came to incorporate the Five Solas which are now central to the gospel of salvation as taught by Western Protestantism. These are:
• Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
• Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
• Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
• Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
• Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
(By the way, if you want to really dig into these Solas, my Pastor Wayne Braudrick did a great sermon series back in September 2016. Well worth checking out.)
Bach was inspired by the same thought process behind the Westminster Catechism first question.
• Q. What is the chief end of man? (“end” in this context is the same as “purpose”)
• A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
So the answer to “why SDG” is that Bach was dedicating his work to God’s glory alone. And 250+ years later, God is still using it for His glory.
I believe that starting with the desire to “make a difference” is great — but going deeper and understanding the “why” behind that will give you the drive and the courage to actually do it. And if you need help with this, I love to work with people in this area of personal growth.
How do YOU want to make an impact in the world? Leave your answer in the comments below.